Best Mexican Food Chicago

If first-class Mexican food is what you’re searching for, there are couple of much better huge cities to discover than Chicago. Craving crispy al priest nestled inside housemade tortillas? The most effective tacos in Chicago are here to satisfy. Want to splurge a little? The Rick Bayless realm, including the Michelin-starred Topolobampo, waits for with open arms. And also in between, you’ll discover old haunts providing every little thing from passionate bowls of pozole to what might be a few of the nation’s most savory birria. Start your search in Pilsen and also Little Village, the long time centers of the city’s Mexican-American community– you could invest weeks consuming your means with the regional foods in those 2 communities alone. We’ve likewise discovered 2 more recent favorites in Taqueria Chingón and also Mis Moles (in Wicker Park and Irving Park, specifically). Wherever your mood takes you, you can not fail at the very best Mexican dining establishments in Chicago.

1. Carnitas Uruapan

At this small Pilsen shop, regulars get special therapy (a.k.a. refried beans, not constantly available), newbies just obtain blank stares, and everyone gets the carnitas. Bought by the pound, the juicy pork is served to you on a platter with only a side of corn tortillas and also a spicy salsa verde to make sure that you can prepare your own tacos. Not leaving any type of part of the pig to waste, the restricted menu also includes fresh, warm, delicious pork skins.

2. Birrieria Zaragoza

Thick handmade tortillas, salsas tailored, cinnamon-laced horchata. You can obtain every one of that below. Their only purpose, nonetheless, is to accompany this restaurant’s trademark plates of sliced goat meat. As opposed to various other birrierias, this goat doesn’t touch a consommé till it’s layered, when a few of the tomato-based brew is spooned over it. At that point, a great dousing of the dining establishment’s detailed hot sauce, and possibly a capture of lime and also some onions, is all you need for one of the city’s ideal goat tacos.

3. Mi Tocaya Antojería

Open up because 2017, this Logan Square dining establishment puts an one-of-a-kind spin on timeless Mexican recipes. Upon opening the food selection, your eyes will certainly go straight to the tacos (as well as you need to buy a few of those), but the antojos area is where you’ll discover chef Diana Dávila’s ideal job– guacamole is showered in black ash, the fish disadvantage mole is bright and also attractive and the peanut butter y lengua is one of one of the most interesting dishes we’ve ever had.

4. Taqueria Chingón

A delicious homage to the streetside restaurants of Mexico City, Taqueria Chingón is a partnership in between Sotero Gallegos (La Sardine), Oliver Poilevey (Le Bouchon) as well as Marcos Ascencio (Bar Lupo)– three men with a shared interest for the standards. The tacos al priest are a must, with tender little bits of pork locating their suit in creamy avocado salsa, wonderful pineapple and streaks of cilantro; a veg-based version of the meal subs in portobello mushrooms and celery root to develop a spot-on performance. Chile-laced pozole warms up the stubborn belly in the winter months, while the vibrant octopus as well as shrimp ceviche is the best refresher come summer season.

5. La Chaparrita

Chicago’s best all-around taqueria focuses on tacos de fritangas, or fried meats prepared on a broad steel stovetop called a charola. You can’t go wrong with anything on the food selection, from the extra sturdy suadero to the delicately spiced longaniza sausage. Yet the showstopper– as well as maybe the best taco in the city– is the tripa. Order it crispy, and these little chunks from the cow’s intestinal tract (not, as you would certainly think, the stomach) arrive as golden-hued and also sparkling crispy nuggets.

6. Topolobampo

Constantly making a Michelin celebrity since 2015, Topolobampo is the fanciest and most upscale of Rick Bayless’s Mexican dining establishments. Similar to all of his restaurants, the items utilized below are local and seasonal. So whether you’re tucking into fresh oysters or ceviche or one of the beautiful moles, you know you’re consuming the very best the period needs to offer. An ever-changing food selection means it’s difficult to forecast specifically what will get on deal day to day– yet due to the fact that Bayless is entailed, it never ever truly seems like a wager.

7. Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan

The range of the food selection may not win you over initially– this joint offers only about six products– but after attempting the scrumptious tongue tacos, the cabeza tacos filled with lush beef cheeks, the straightforward yet rich goat consommé or the goat tacos rupturing with luxurious meat, you’ll locate you will not want for anything else.

 

8. Taqueria Traspasada # 2.

The signage on this slim counter-service taqueria promotes its price as the best Mexican food in the area, as well as while the objective truth of that may be tough to figure out, it undoubtedly does some superb points with pork. Tacos al pastor are tender and tied with abundant adobo significance; others are packed with naturally flavored chicharron as well as rubbed with fresh, beefy salsa verde. Weekends bring specials of menudo and also birria, the latter featuring forkfuls of soft, mildly gamey meat in a smoky broth.

9. 5 Rabanitos.

XOCO alum chef Alfonso Sotelo’s dishes are delightfully reassuring with just the right amount of personality. Whether you order a big plate of tacos (which will not spend a lot at $2.95 a piece) or our favored, the warm and hearty green poultry tamal, you’ll really feel welcome at 5 Rabanitos. Expect thoughtful plating (with bits of radishes on every meal– therefore the name) and also potentially a go to from Sotelo himself.

10. Taqueria El Mezquite.

This 18th Road spot has just a small touch of tables within, however summertimes bring break with an outdoor patio. Our preferred? The enchiladas with red sauce, stuffed with cheese or poultry and also offered with a side of habit forming refried beans and also rice. Order a mug of Jamaica, too– you’ll desire something to wash these sauce-covered cheese-laden men down.

11. Taqueria Mazamitla.

Tacos look like the noticeable choice at this Avondale standby, as well as you can not fail with the taqueria’s extra-crispy al pastor or carne asada (specifically when they’re $2.50 a pop). But if you take place to be in the neighborhood around morning meal, make certain to order an order of chilaquiles– splashed in a favorably spicy salsa verde, this substantial platter supplies practically adequate nutrition for 2.

12. L’Patron.

There are numerous reasons this Logan Square taqueria is always busy with activity. The chunky guac is accompanied by fresh-from-the-fryer chips sprayed with sea salt; fish tacos sport a completely deep-fried filet, crunchy cabbage, fresh pico de gallo and also a tip of serrano aioli; perfectly-cooked carne asada enhances the steak tacos as well as burritos; and also you can obtain a mug of possibly the least saccharin horchata in Chicago. One thing you ‘d get out of a fancier taqueria that you do not obtain below: inflated rates.

13. Mis Moles Restaurant & Tequila Bar.

Mole takes center stage at this still relatively-new venture from cook Geno Bahena (Ixcapuzalco, Chipancingo), which opened up in 2015 in Irving Park. 7 various varieties of the sauce– one for every day of the week– are offered on the food selection, lending smoky intricacy to duck bust, shrimp, pork chop and also other signature dishes. That wide array makes certain a mole for each mood: a mole verde, for instance, makes its environment-friendly color and also delicate spice from a blend of tomatillos, pumpkin seeds, cilantro and epazote.

14. Leña Brava.

It might not be owned by Rick Bayless any longer, but Leña Brava still thrills. Motivated by the fire-cooked food native to Baja California Norte in Mexico, the restaurant serves up dishes perfectly charred over an open fireplace or within a wood-burning stove. Oysters are braised with a meyer lemon-anchovy compound butter and jazzed up with chipotle, while a ancho chile- as well as koji-aged ribeye steak tackles an even richer personality when basted with duck fat and Oaxacan-style sauce. Pair alongside a great smoky glass of mezcal to complete the fireplace effect.

15. Yvolina’s Tamales.

Unlike much of Chicago’s tamale stores– which favor a corn husk for the steaming process– Yvolina’s chefs each tamal in a neat cocoon of banana leaves, which creates a slightly moister masa shell. You’ll also locate resourcefulness among its fillings, which vary from the standards (hen with salsa verde or rojo) to the not-so-classics (tofu and environment-friendly tomatillo, quinoa with lentils); both ends of the range, nevertheless, are similarly tasty, especially when saturated in the shop’s mole sauce. Vegans as well as vegetarians will certainly also enjoy to note that most of the tamales are meat- and also animal product-free.

16. XOCO.

Morning Meal at Rick Bayless’s casual River North haunt is damn near best: a cup of masterfully cooked up warm chocolate, a flaky chorizo-egg empanada, one hell of a sugar-and-cocoa-coated churro. Lunch right here is no much less delicious, however it’s a craze: Lines prolong out the door for tortas full of fatty, crispy pork carnitas. The crowds maintain at supper, when caldos like braised-short-rib soup and chicken stew with toothsome posole are the perfect start to … an additional churro.

17. La Oaxaqueña.

With numerous Mexican joints to pick from, why do we love this? Maybe it’s the Huatulco torta, a sandwich that layers housemade chorizo, caramelized onions, a slather of pinto beans and also fresh avocado atop cecina, slim beef that’s marinaded for two days and after that grilled. Or possibly it’s the roasted Cornish chicken surrounded in Oaxacan mole or the crunchy red snapper concealing under marinaded red onions. Maybe there are way too many reasons to count.

18. Lonely Rose.

Possessed and run by the exact same people behind Lost Lake and Parson’s Poultry & Fish, Lonely Rose is a hipster’s heaven, full with a sweet rooftop deck. The food selection leans Tex-Mex, with crispy fish tacos, fried poultry torta and also Vehicle Stop Nachos, which are stacked high with black beans, queso, pickled red onions and also crema.

Cary Grant
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